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A flag for all seasons

By Daniel Dunkle | Jul 20, 2020
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Paul Brown displays the flag of Barbados at his home on Limerock Street.

Rockland — Walking down Limerock Street on a summer day, one notices a house flying a colorful flag. If you walk down the street every day for a week, you may notice the flag changes from day to day.

One day it is a Maine state flag. Another it is the flag of New Zealand. On yet another, it proudly displays the trident of Barbados. There are in fact multiple Maine state flag designs displayed.

This is the home of Janet Houghton and Paul Brown. They live across the Street from Dan Bookham, who has also become famous in the neighborhood for his many flags.

Janet and Paul have been living here for 12 years. They moved to Rockland from Vermont in part for the milder winters, and no, that is not a joke.

Janet worked as curator for the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont. Paul was an engineer who worked in the ink jet printer industry.

They began collecting flags with places that border Maine. New Brunswick's flag became a favorite. The hobby has grown from there.

Years ago, Janet says, a parent with a child came by and said, "I love your flags. I go home and we look them up together." Janet said she is so happy it could be educational. In this way, she is still a museum curator.

Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald. Email him at or call 594-4401 ext. 122 with story ideas.

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jul 21, 2020 15:30

Don't think it really has anything to do with Trump and really the whole Russian interference story is nothing more than that, a story used to deflect attention from what is really going on.  Re: displaying a Russian, Chinese or any other country flag should not be met with rudeness and foul play.  If America is truly a "melting pot" a place where people from various countries can live in Peace with others, they should not be ridiculed for displaying the pride they have for their own homeland.  Unfortunately that's not the way it is here.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jul 21, 2020 08:34

Steve, there are enough Trump fans here so a Russian flag would probably be welcome.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jul 21, 2020 08:10

A great idea although I have found that not all flags are a welcome sight.  We have for several years displayed two flags outside our home on Old County rd.  I have found the two "safest" flags to display are the American and Canadian flags.  My wife is Chinese and as with most people have close ties to their home country.  For a short while we proudly displayed the Chinese flag, until the number of hateful remarks caused us to take it down.  We have a friend in Rockport who hails from Palestine.  His attempts to showcase his country's flag met the same fate. Also have a friend in Rockland whose wife is Japanese. Feel good story Dan, why not have Bookham display the Russian flag and see what happens and don't be surprised.

Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Jul 20, 2020 21:02

I have to admit to a certain amount of pride when I see a flag I recognize. And then, of course, it's always good fun to look up the ones that I don't know. Carry on neighbors!

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